Standard “I used to work for the BBC” disclaimer applies.
My first impression is that this the first homepage that has done what the home-page needed to do, be a shop-front for across the BBC. Previous home-pages have always been very silo-structured. News had their bit, ditto Radio, Sport, Weather, etc.
It felt like representation of the org-chart rather than conveying the breadth of the site.
The new one feels both busier, and simpler. Without the excessive and technically unreliable customisation it’s lost that horrible of air of “is it a homepage or a BBC specific My-Yahoo?”.
The BBC has perhaps been through a few too many home-pages in previous years, but this one feels like it’s been given a really tight scope and done that – most people will still be browsing to bbc.co.uk/news or finding content via Google.
A gripe though, given they’re linking so much to iPlayer things, they really need to make the correct redirect to the TV/iPad “big screen” iPlayer version of a programme and not a link to the front-page. (Oh, and sort out an HTML5 player for News content)